READERS LETTERS: As seen in The Wokingham Paper of April 16, 2020

Harry Atkinson
Picture: Harry Atkinson

We need to extend transition period

I absolutely support the government’s mantra that we will do ‘Whatever It Takes’, which is why I’m supporting Best for Britain’s campaign to extend the Brexit transition period.

It’s not reasonable to expect the government to secure a new free trade deal with the EU, while dealing with a deadly situation on our shores.

Extension gives us time to focus on the pandemic now and work out a deal with Europe later.

We are facing a crisis that transcends traditional politics. Nearly half of Conservative voters agree that transition must be extended in the face of this pandemic according to recent polling by Best for Britain.

NHS England confirmed that the resources, which they put aside for No Deal have already been released to tackle the virus. If we cannot get a comprehensive deal in time, how will we weather the double whammy of No Deal and a global pandemic?

We cannot control the timing of the virus outbreak. But we do have control of our transition timetable. And we can be sure that we did everything in our power to save lives.

Richard Sangster, Earley

Blossoms on the South side of Holt Copse

My wife and I have been in “Self-isolation” for two weeks (with no Covid-19 symptoms so far, but not wishing to tempt fate!) because I will be 75 in the next month.

With no known medical problems I am what the Government considers to be “At-risk”. 

I decided to make use of my “Exercise Allowance” of one hour and go and walk to Holt Copse on the Reading Road,  see how the Bluebell plants were getting along, then walk back which should be achievable within the hour.

What I did find was that so far because of long periods of cold weather the plants were in leaf, but not bud or flower.

I walked up towards Wokingham along Reading Road on the left hand side until I reached the South side of Holt Copse and
I noticed that the bushes on the South Side of Holt Copse were in bloom, their white Blossom contrasting with the clear blue skies!

I took a few pictures and returned home within the allotted hour.

One reason why the bushes on the South Side of Holt Copse are ahead of the bluebells in the interior of Holt Copse is that the bushes are exposed to the heat from the sun (which rises in the east, traverses across the south for most of the day and finally sets in the west).

The Bluebells in the interior of Holt copse are shaded by the trees for most of the day. 

Harry Atkinson, Wokingham

Invest in nurses today

The Prime Minister’s tribute on Easter Sunday was moving and reflected the contributions made by everyone in the NHS.

He described how nurses combine continuous personal care with deep professional knowledge and skills.

It was a wonderful demonstration of the importance of nurses during this Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

Yet there is a worldwide shortage of at least 5.8 million nurses and too many feel undervalued and unsupported. Governments worldwide must now invest in nursing and change this for the future.

Lord (Nigel) Crisp,

Baroness (Mary) Watkins,

Chairs of Nursing Now,

House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW

Children with cancer need your help

Isolated and highly vulnerable to infection children with cancer desperately need your help. Every day we spend in insolation during the coronavirus outbreak, young cancer patients and their families are in crisis struggling with the huge emotional and financial impacts of cancer and coronavirus.

Without support during this pandemic, the strain of a child’s cancer diagnosis will push local families to breaking point.

As the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people with cancer, CLIC Sargent has launched an emergency appeal as we continue to fight tirelessly for young people with cancer. But we can’t do that without the vital support of the Berkshire community. CLIC Sargent, which relies entirely on voluntary donations, is facing a staggering 60 per cent drop in income, but the vulnerability of the young people we support is increasing. We urgently need readers to please donate today to help us continue to be there for families.

We have never been so busy. Families are so worried how they will cope financially and parents are anxious about their children being so vulnerable to coronavirus.

It’s completely heart-breaking. They need us now more than ever. During the pandemic we’re having to find new ways to provide urgent support to families in isolation who desperately need us, at a time when we have had to cancel local fundraising events too.

In these uncertain times feeding yourself and your child with cancer should not be one of those uncertainties. Since the start of the pandemic in the UK, CLIC Sargent has given more than £45,000 in emergency grants to young cancer patients and their families to help them pay for essentials such as food and bills.

The Berkshire community can help by donating today and provide a lifeline for young cancer patients and their families. To support CLIC Sargent and donate today, text GIVE to 70030 to donate £5 or visit clicsargent.org.uk/donate.

Texts cost £5 plus one standard network rate message. CLIC Sargent will receive 100% of your £5 donation. To unsubscribe from texts, text NOSMS CLIC to 78866. To unsubscribe from calls, text NOCALL CLIC to 78866. (These texts will be charged at your network’s standard message charge).

Alina Kairi,  Fundraising Engagement Manager – Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire & Berkshire,

CLIC Sargent

Help Barnardo’s

Barnardo’s has a 150-year history of serving the most vulnerable children and young people in our society.

In these unprecedented times of crisis, we remain as committed to this mission as we have ever been.

However, Covid-19 has created a perfect storm of acute need and a sudden loss of income for the charitable sector.

We have already lost a third of our monthly income as fundraising events have been cancelled and our retail shops have had to close, forcing us to temporarily furlough thousands of staff.

Therefore we have launched an emergency fundraising appeal to inspire members of the public, philanthropists, foundations and companies to donate to Barnardo’s at this critical moment.

Many children already living with mental health issues are finding their problems compounded by the coronavirus pandemic. Strains on mental health include feeling anxious, lonely and unsafe at home. Parents/carers may also feel anxious about not being able to support their children, making it difficult for them to care for their child’s wellbeing.

Your gift could help us remotely counsel and support children through this crisis, such as the supply of devices or access to data, as well as providing mental health and wellbeing packages offering families much-needed advice, as well as toys and activities for children.

Others are having difficulty accessing food and essentials, especially if they are finding it impossible to get to food banks. Your gift could help us to provide food vouchers and food parcels to keep children healthy during their time in isolation.

The coronavirus is pushing vulnerable children and families to the edge, putting them under unimaginable pressure, but very action you take for us will make a difference.

Now, more than ever, we need the support of everyone who – alongside Barnardo’s – believes in children.

Please visit www.barnardos.org.uk/coronavirus-crisis-appeal to make a donation, or send cheques payable to Barnardo’s to Crisis Appeal, Barnardo’s, Tanners Lane, Barkingside, Essex IG6 1QG.

Thank you.

Emma Bowman

Barnardo’s Regional Director

Lymphoma Action launches UK wide online support group

During these unprecedented times, connecting over social media is one way that people can keep in touch. This is even more important for those who are shielding because of health issues or vulnerability.

Lymphoma Action, the only
charity in the UK dedicated to supporting people affected by lymphoma, has launched a closed Facebook group for anyone
affected by Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma or chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).

The support group is a great place for people affected by lymphoma to share information and tips about coping with the current situation, as well as thoughts and emotions about their diagnosis.

If any reader would like to join the closed Facebook support group they should search for Lymphoma Action Support UK.

For more information about lymphoma, including information about lymphoma and COVID 19, please visit the Lymphoma Action website at www.lymphoma-action.org.uk

Karen Bonell, Lymphoma Action

What do you think? Send your letters to letters@wokinghampaper.co.uk

We love to hear from you! Send us your views on issues relating to the borough (in 250 words or less) to The Wokingham Paper, Crown House, 231 Kings Road, Reading RG1 4LS or email: letters@wokinghampaper.co.uk

We reserve the right to edit letters

Views expressed in this section are not necessarily those of the paper

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